Okaukuejo: Day 4 at Etosha National Park

Day four of Gordon Donovan’s journey back to Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Today I must find the lion pride of Okondeko or the nomads at Olifantsbad near the Okaukeujo Camp.

I got out the door before sunrise. Grabbed a bite and just as the gates opened I headed east. I was on a mission to find the lions. I drove into the rising sun that blinded me. I headed towards Newbrownii and Gemsboksvalke, nothing was happening there but a few herbivores. Took a few shots of zebra and springbok.

I went to Olifantsbad and finally a waterhole was active. I was hoping to see the three young male lions that I saw in October. The two pools were busy with springbok, impala and kudu. As I was looking for the lions when some springboks darted up the hill in my direction.

A cheetah came out of the woods at the top of hill down in between the two pools, up the hill in pursuit of several springbok. The impalas darted behind the vehicle into the woods with cheetah on their tails. It happened some fast I could not get a lock with the camera on the cheetah. I was more of a spectator.

I was amazed at how fast the cheetah was. You cannot fully appreciate how the fast the cheetah is until you witness one running in the wild. No kills to report.
So after I went to the waterholes to the east on the road around just past Ondongab I found an African Wildcat wandering along the road. Little did I know in coming days I would find other cats in this area?

The cat was in the grass and I drove along side him for 20 minutes before he darted into the thicker grass. Afterwards I returned to Olifantsbad to see if the cheetah would make a guest appearance. Instead an elephant came to cool off and drink. With no one around I was able to follow him and watch come out of trees and across the road. Minding not to get too close.

After a break and a room change due to power outage. I visited the waterhole at Okaunkejo to find no animals only a group of Germans with bird books and binoculars. Back out I went to Okondeko and the loop towards Natco hoping the pride moved west where the other animals were. I circled back and forth for three hours in the 38-Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) temperatures. Thank God there was a breeze.

I settled down at Okondeko for the last 45 minutes and only got sun. No animals, no Discover Channel crew so back to lodge and dinner. I visited the Okaukuejo Waterhole afterwards, no animals or Germans.

Oryx grazes near the Olifantsbad Waterhole 130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C45H8612 130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C45H8535
130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C45H8455 130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C45H8363 The Etosha Pan
130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C45H8292 elephant Dark Chanting Goshawk stretches its wings
zebra stares in at the camera blacksmith lapwing An impala shows off their fuzzy tail
130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C41G8296 130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C41G2549 130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C41G8244
130120_wm_etosha_okaukuejo_C41G8184 African Wildcat Springboks keep a careful eye out
Etosha National Park

Waterholes and routes taken visited on day four in Etosha National Park.

Photos taken Jan. 20, 2013 using a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Digital SLR with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Standard Zoom Lens, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens, a Sigma Telephoto 500mm f/4.5 EX DG APO HSM Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS with/without a 1.4x DG EX APO Teleconverter.

Photos taken today: 874
Total photos taken: 2700

One Comment

  1. Reply
    Bruce Colin February 4, 2013

    Thorough narrative of your ongoing impressions and experience while photographing wildlife is enjoyable to read. As you know wildlife photography is not an easy endeavor but is worth all the dedication and the effort and this comes across in your writing.

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